Bonn It must have been the last chance to drink mulled wine from a special cup outdoors this year: The mulled wine walk in the Altstadt found an appreciative audience again this weekend.
Over the past two weekends, the publicans in Bonn's Altstadt have organised the Bonner Glühweinspaziergang 2020, a mulled wine walk. They served mulled, takeaway wine at eight different pubs and bars. This had to be taken literally to prevent groups of people forming at the stands.
The publicans provided a certificate as an incentive to encourage lazy customers to walk. Those who drank mulled wine at at least five establishments and received the stamps to prove it were presented with a ‘Gastro-Saver 2020’ diploma. This was reason enough for mulled wine lovers to embark on the intensive drinking and walking rescue mission.
Those who wanted to become gastro-saviours thus had to leave the Altstadt pubs ‘Nyx’, ‘Die Wache’, ‘Brix’ and ‘Flynn's Pub’ behind with mulled wine in their hands. For the hardcore who wanted to scoop them all, the more distant ‘Zone Blues Bar’, ‘Blow Up’ and ‘Casbah’ had alcoholic drinks and stamps at the ready. A distance of one and a half kilometres: ‘We're even doing something for our fitness,’ joked two ladies at Flynn's Pub.
Alcohol ban from 11pm
‘Last time we issued 150 certificates,’ explained Tobias Epping, owner of ‘Die Wache’ and initiator of the campaign. He hired two security guards who rode the mulled wine routes on bikes to make sure that no tipsy hot spots were building up. However, most people were ‘very understanding’, explained security man Dietmar Mayn.
“We had a cooperative relationship with the local health authorities. Fortunately, it was not a matter of banning,” Tobias Epping reported. “People want to go out again and support the hospitality industry on the side.” The city administration confirmed that there had been no problems during the first mulled wine walk - unlike in other cities. “A complete ban would not be proportionate,” explained deputy city spokesman Marc Hoffmann last week. However, the public order office is keeping a close eye on the matter. The Corona Protection Ordinance currently prohibits the consumption of alcohol outside between 11pm and 6am, and this will now be completely banned.
Last Friday, when the Robert Koch Institute reported a record peak in the number of new cases, business seemed to be slow. At 7.30pm, Frankenplatz was not very busy. “The weather is not helping today. Maybe many people prefer to stay at home because of the circumstances,” said bartender Stefan Müßig from ‘Nyx’. “Last time, people took up our offer very well and were really disciplined at the same time. We made sure that there were no clusters. The public order office was also here a lot”.
38 euro tip
Meanwhile, at the ‘Wache’ behind their partition wall, Epping and his co-worker Jeroen Montenegro had a friendly greeting for every customer. “Sales are not great so far. But prime time is just starting,” said Epping. Less than twenty minutes later he had a considerable queue to serve. “Thank you for doing this,” one of them called out to him whilst paying. Many of those waiting joined in with the praise for the pub owners. Even a 38 euro tip was given in the exuberance of gratitude. Some proudly held up the numerous stamps they had collected, while their masks, decorated with red splotches, also bared witness to their repeated consumption of mulled wine. If it hadn’t been for the distancing rule, the mulled wine consumers and suppliers would probably have fallen all over each other that evening.
The party atmosphere at Frankenplatz increased noticeably on Friday evening. Loud laughter could be heard, and here and there the clink of a broken deposit cup, followed by a lament over the lost three euros.
Stefan Müßig would like to serve at Frankenplatz again next weekend, but he remains realistic. “We have to wait and see what will be decided on Sunday,” he said on Friday evening. “I'm rather sceptical about it.”
(Original text: Jakub Drogowski, Translation: Caroline Kusch)